Online Staff Report
This October, Choices Natural Market will be one of more than 1,500 grocery retailers across North America participating in the fourth annual Non-GMO Month — a celebration of people’s right to choose food and products that do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Public concern about GMOs is rising as studies increasingly raise doubts about the long-term safety and environmental impact of this experimental technology. GMO labeling is mandatory in 64 countries around the world, including Australia, Russia, China and all of Europe, but no such requirements exist in the U.S.
Studies show near-universal support for GMO labeling — more than 90 percent of Americans want to know whether their food contains GMOs, and 2013 has seen a groundswell in the “right to know” movement. More than 1.2 million Americans have contacted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking them to implement mandatory labeling of GMO foods, and 27 states have taken up GMO labeling bills, like those passed in Maine and Connecticut in June.
“The right to know what we’re eating and feeding our families is so basic,” said Megan Westgate, executive director of the nonprofit Non-GMO Project, which created Non-GMO Month. “Americans deserve the same freedom to avoid experimental GMO foods as people in other countries.”
While consumers fight for their right to know at the polls, the Non-GMO Project provides shoppers an immediate solution to the presence of unlabeled GMOs. As the only third party non-GMO verification in North America, the Non-GMO Project Verified seal is quickly gaining popularity. It is now the fastest-growing label claim in the natural products industry with more than 11,000 Non-GMO Project Verified products.
Stephanie Jones, general manager of Choices Natural Market, said: “With GMOs now contaminating as much as 80 percent of conventional packaged foods, we are more committed than ever to helping people find safe, healthy non-GMO choices. We believe people have the right to know what’s in their food, and we will be celebrating that right throughout Non-GMO Month this October.”
During Non-GMO Month, Choices will help shoppers identify Non-GMO Project Verified items with special shelf tags, end-cap displays and educational materials.
In addition, Choices is inviting the public to an educational film screening to learn more about GMOs and how to support the availability of healthier food options in the community. The film screening will take place in the space next to the store, 6551 E. Riverside Blvd., Rockford, from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 5. Tickets are free, but space is limited. Get free tickets at Choices, in the same shopping area as Lonnie’s Carpet Max. Additional details can be found at “Choices Natural Market” on Facebook.
Posted Oct. 2, 2013